Usha, Mary Kom have become politicians; will sit on hunger strike if need be: Bajrang, Sakshi | More sports News


NEW DELHI: Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik on Tuesday launched a fierce attack on India’s iconic women sportspersons PT Usha and MC Mary Kom for discrediting their sit-in at Jantar Mantar here against Wrestling Federation of India‘s (WFI) sidelined president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is facing serious allegations of sexual harassment from seven female wrestlers, including a minor.
Both Bajrang and Sakshi lashed out at celebrated track and field star Usha and six-time world boxing champion Mary Kom for looking at their protest “from the prism of a politician” and not as a country’s legendary sportspersons sympathising with their cause. Usha is a Rajya Sabha member nominated by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government as well as the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) president. Mary Kom, on the other hand, is presently the IOA’s Athletes Commission chairperson, apart from being a Rajya Sabha MP from April 2016-2022.
Usha had recently criticised the wrestlers for spoiling the image of the country by sitting on dharna, while Mary Kom has maintained a steadfast silence over the matter. “We are much better than people like PT Usha and Mary Kom. If former athletes such as them can’t support us, it’s a matter of shame. Such adversities give us strength. We don’t want them to sit here with us. We just want them to be truthful and support us. We have already sacrificed our training and sport. But this cause is bigger than all,” said Sakshi, 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist.
“I have been hearing since my childhood that a politician can’t be trusted. Wo na baap, maa, pati aur patni kisi ke sage nahi hote hai and ye in logo ne mujhe prove kar diya hai (They (politicians) are not even faithful to their father, mother, husband or spouse and these people (Usha and Mary Kom) have proved that to me). These are the people I grew up watching and aspired to become like them. But I have learnt my lessons the hard way. Probably I was destined to learn the ways of the world this way. I always looked up to Usha ma’am. Growing up, we wondered if we will ever be able to see Usha, Sachin Tendulkar sir, Sania Mirza etc in flesh and blood. I still remember watching these people on TV in our small village house. We have come from that humble background. So, if a woman athlete can’t understand your pain, it hurts more,” Sakshi added.
Bajrang said Usha must realise that she got to this position because of her sports achievements but has now become a thorough politician. “Their sports achievements gave them that powerful chair of a politician. But they have forgotten that,” said Bajrang, a bronze medallist at the Tokyo Games.
Both Bajrang and Sakshi said that if need be, the wrestlers will sit on a hunger strike in their fight for justice against Singh. “We are ready to go to any extent. We can pay any price to get justice. We want a complete clean-up of the WFI. People like Singh and his aides should leave. I would say getting justice for India’s daughters will be a bigger medal than the Olympics. This is not a tough struggle for us. We are straightforward, apolitical people. We are not even concerned about the corruption and financial wrongdoings in the federation but sexual harassment is a non-negotiable issue,” said Bajrang.
Bajrang again appealed to Prime Minister Modi and union home minister Amit Shah to take cognisance of the matter and provide them justice. “It looks like that the government is protecting Singh,” he alleged, adding, “I sincerely appeal to the PM and HM to take cognisance of the protest and get us justice. By shielding a criminal person like Singh, their vote bank is not going to increase.”

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